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Want a job at Tesla? Get ready for 9 interviews

Want a job at Tesla Get ready for 9 interviews

Landing an engineering role at Tesla can often take several attempts, and can be quite a lengthy endeavor. However, despite the challenging process, people are lining up for a job at the popular carmaker. In fact, the company said that in 2022, it received more than 3.6 million applications and employed nearly 130,000 people. 

The first step in Tesla’s application process

According to the information revealed by Business Insider on March 3, after a successful application, Tesla arranges interviews with recruiters or human resources representatives. Engineers secure initial interviews through methods like submitting resumes on Tesla’s careers page, networking, or internal recommendations. Recruiters, handling a significant volume, generally interview about 20 candidates.

Upon passing the culture fit interview, focusing on motivation and team compatibility, successful candidates engage in technical discussions with a manager and at least one team engineer. These interviews are more technical and sometimes include a take-home or live test.

Navigating the Second Step

In Tesla’s next hiring step, candidates present a 15-30 minute project overview, followed by rapid-fire interviews lasting four to six hours. Tesla workers said it’s best for early-career applicants to present on college group projects or personal ventures. 

Tesla engineers, dedicating more than 40 hours over several weeks, prepared for a presentation. The panel, was conducted either over Zoom or in person.

Engineers assess the presentation and conduct individual interviews, with a collective ‘blind vote’ determining candidate scores on a scale of one to four. 

A score of one, backed by a panel member, may result in rejection, while a three or four signals approval. Only about half the applicants who make it to the panel stage are selected.

Patience pays off

Depending on the role, successful panel interviews may lead to a job offer. Higher-level positions involve additional interviews with directors or VPs.

Some applicants submit a form outlining their fit for Tesla to a VP or director, and in some cases, notes are passed on to Elon Musk. Last year, the Tesla CEO said in an email to staff that he must approve all new hires.

Founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, Tesla is a technological powerhouse that employs over 127,000 people around the globe. It is among the ten most valuable companies globally, has a worldwide recognized brand, and has occupied the leading position in the S&P 500. 

Elon Musk, the CEO and former chairman of Tesla, is the world’s second-richest person (as of March 2024) and a polarizing figure due to controversies. Even without taking into account Musk’s considerable influence, Tesla has a global impact on the market and will likely continue to represent a dominant force in the foreseeable future.

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